The independence and transparency of decision making is extremely important for the Agency. ECHA's work and decisions are crucial for the protection of human health and the environment and they can also have a significant impact on individual companies. It is essential that, in taking those decisions, ECHA acts transparently, independently and takes impartial and science-based decisions.
Transparency is assured by the publication of procedures, by the active involvement of stakeholders in the decision making process and by the publication of information and decisions or opinions online.
Independence is assured by having transparent declarations of interest and taking measures to ensure that interests cannot have an impact on decision making in the Agency. In reality, that implies striking a delicate balance between having staff members with expertise and experience and, at the same time, strictly avoiding potential conflicts of interest. According to ECHA's policy, a conflict of interest could arise where the impartiality and objectivity of a decision is compromised (or might be seen to be compromised) by the interest of an individual working in or with the Agency.
In practical terms therefore, everyone working in or for ECHA makes an annual declaration of interests (they are also updated if their situation changes). Anyone with a declared interest in an issue will then not participate in decision or opinion making on that matter.
The Agency also has a Conflicts of Interest Advisory Committee to support the Agency's Executive Director in ensuring independence of decision making.
For more information, please consult the ECHA Policy for Managing potential Conflicts of Interest.